The Foodie Bugle Reporters cannot resist spreading the good news: we have found the perfect tea room. And The Tea Guild, set up in 1985 by The UK Tea Council to recognise and promote the highest tea serving standards in the land, agree with us, because they have awarded The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny the top national award for excellence.
For just under £15 you can enjoy a perfect round of trimmed sandwiches (egg, ham, salmon and cucumber) with little fruit pastries, mini swiss rolls, custard slices, chocolate sponge squares and cream cakes. The patisserie chef here is called Sally Lane, and she prepares everything with minute attention to detail, ensuring everything is bite sized, fresh and perfect. The scones are baked to perfection and served with clotted cream and jam. Everything is dainty, delicious and pretty, and you can even order a glass of champagne and extra savouries to turn your feast into a “High Tea” to remember.
Cakes are served on silver, ceramic cake stands. There are floral porcelain tea cups, white napkins and glasses of ice cold water. The service is excellent, fast and efficient. In particular, one Spanish waitress stood out. She was very gracious and attentive, wrapping up the cakes we could not quite finish so we could take them home.
There is a huge variety of loose leaf teas available: English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Silver Needle White Tea, Dragon Well Green Tea, Jasmine Osmanthus, Chamomile, Rose, Lemon Verbena, and Blackcurrant and Hibiscus.
You can sit inside in the main restaurant area, but it is most likely you will need to reserve a table, as people, evidently, drive from afar to come here for tea. We sat outside, in the cool shade of the big green umbrellas, looking up at a fruiting fig tree, in a sheltered courtyard garden bustling with customers. You just cannot keep a secret.
Tea is served from 3 p.m. (3.30 p.m at the weekend) right until 5.30 p.m.